Following on from the last post, I went to work on the allotment-planting out celeriac, sowing peas and beetroot and enjoying the lovely weather, when my eye was attracted to my allotment neighbour’s unkempt plot. It is growing a wonderful crop of Dead nettle, Lamium purpureum. I managed to photograph both male and female Hairy Footed Flower bees (Anthophora plumipes) in the same picture, visiting one of the clumps. (Click to enlarge -but it is still not great.) Until I started learning about them I would not have been able to recognise that these two were the same species, the female being black and the male brown.
These are delightful little bees, fast flying and looking a little like tiny velvet covered bean bags-in flight they appear to be quite bottom heavy. I managed to get a slightly better picture of the female, who spent much longer feeding from the lilac coloured flowers of the dead nettle. But she moved almost constantly from flower to flower and they don’t seem to hang around once they detect you, so most of the twenty or so pictures are either blurry or she is vanishing out of the picture. It makes me appreciate the skill of good macro photographers.
I have added them to my journal too. A bit easier to see here.